Discretion Within The Criminal Justice Field Essays

2296 Words Dec 7th, 2014 null Page
The application of discretion is evident throughout the criminal justice field. Discretion, in its simplest terms, is when one makes an informed choice between more than two options. Discretion is more formally defined as “the authority to make a decision between two or more choices” (Pollock, 2014, p. 2). The act of discretion, initiates with legislators; that creates and defines laws, and discretion extends to all areas of the criminal justice field to include prosecutors, judges, correctional officers, and to police officers. By empowering law enforcement officers with the authority of discretion, there is room for abuse, especially when the power is not respected. When the power of discretion is not respected or abused there is an opportunity to cross the ethical boundary. One can remain within the ethical boundaries of discretion by merely making a moral and ethical decision.
Discretion plays a significant role for the law enforcement officer. Discretion gives the officer choices that he or she may explore and allows the officer to apply the best particle decision for a particular encounter. Without discretion, in my opinion, I believe that police officers would never have the time to answer calls for service or conduct any other job function with the exception of conducting traffic stops. If an officer had to enforce all traffic laws, all of the time, the officer would never make it far from the station. At the start their shift and for the entire shift…

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